The AVMA endorses the American Association of Equine Practitioners' position on therapeutic medications in non-racing performance horses, which reads as follows:
"The AAEP policy on medication in non-racing performance horses is driven by our mission to improve the health and welfare of the horse. It is aimed at providing the best health care possible for horses competing under the current rules in various disciplines while ensuring the integrity of the sport. The AAEP expects its members to abide by the rules of all jurisdictions where they practice. The AAEP condemns the administration of non-therapeutic or unprescribed medications to performance horses by anyone. The AAEP believes that all therapeutic medication should be administered to performance horses by or under the direction of a licensed veterinarian. Health care decisions on individual horses involve the veterinarian, the trainer and the owner with the best interests of the horse as the primary objective.
The AAEP strongly encourages continued research in determining the therapeutic levels and appropriate withdrawal times that represent responsible use of medication in the competing horse. The AAEP is aware of the dynamics of the development of new products, as well as the continuing evaluation of current medications, and will continue to evaluate its policy based upon available scientific research and the best interests of the horse.
In order to provide the best health care possible for the performance horse, veterinarians should utilize the most appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic modalities in accordance with medication guidelines of the sport. To this end, the following are the essential elements of the AAEP policy concerning veterinary care of the performance horse: